The man appointed to review proposed rate increases for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has agreed with the agency on at least one of the proposals.
In his review presented to the City Council on Wednesday, ratepayer advocate Dr. Fred Pickel agreed there is a need to raise the price of power by 10.6 percent over the next two years due to the department’s need to comply with legal mandates and invest in basic reliability.
A separate review on the water rate is expected to be released next week. Both proposed rates will then go through the public process at both City Council and DWP Board meetings. The rate increase proposals are expected to come back to City Council for a final vote on October 1.
If approved, the power rates will go into effect in November and the water rates will go into effect in July 2013.
Dr. Pickel will be presenting to the Mar Vista Community Council Board of Directors at their meeting on Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at 7:00 pm at Mar Vista Recreation Center Auditorium, 11430 Woodbine Avenue, Mar Vista 90066.
Pickel’s presentation can be found here. An independent third party review was also prepared for the Ratepayer Advocate, Chief Legislative Analyst, and the City Administrative Officer. The report says that significant cost reduction opportunities are limited in the next two years and the proposed rate increase is reasonable and warranted. A separate analysis was conducted by PA Consulting and can be found here.
A voter mandate created the ratepayer advocate position with the Office of Public Accountability. The City Council approved the appointment of Pickel earlier this year.
Councilmember Bill Rosendahl interviewed Pickel shortly after the City Council approved the appointment. During the interview, Rosendahl asked Pickel what he thought his mission would be as ratepayer advocate and if he will bring in neighborhood councils have total transparency on the issue of raising water and power rates. Watch the video to hear Pickel’s response.